How do I enable, disable, or adjust the Windows Quick Launch

Updated: 08/03/2018 by Computer Hope

The Windows Quick Launch feature allows users to add shortcuts to their favorite programs right next to the Start menu button for quick and easy access. The Quick Launch area can be disabled or enabled at any time, and program shortcuts can be added or removed when desired.

Enabling the Windows Quick Launch in Windows 7, 8, 10

Microsoft introduced the ability to pin applications to the taskbar in Windows 7 and continued that feature with Windows 8 and Windows 10. Pinning an application to the taskbar eliminates the need for the Quick Launch section found in previous versions of Windows.

If you prefer the Windows Quick Launch feature over pinning applications to the taskbar, you can still get that feature back by following the steps below.

  1. Right-click on an empty portion of the Windows taskbar.
  2. In the pop-up menu, select Toolbars > New Toolbar.
  3. The Explorer window will open. In the address bar at the top of that window, copy and paste the following folder path.

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

  1. At the bottom of the Explorer window, click the Select Folder button.

The Quick Launch area will be added to the right side of the taskbar, next to the notification area.

Quick Launch located next to notification area

To move the Quick Launch to the left side of the taskbar, next to the Start menu button, where it was located in previous versions of Windows, follow the steps below.

  1. Right-click on an empty portion of the taskbar.
  2. Select the Lock the taskbar or Lock all taskbars option so that it is now unchecked.
  3. With the taskbar now unlocked, place your mouse cursor over the two vertical lines next to the Quick Launch.
  4. Click and hold the left mouse button, then drag the Quick Launch as far to the left on the Taskbar as you can.
  5. Several icons will still be located to the left of the Quick Launch, including the File Explorer icon. To move those icons to the right of the Quick Launch, click and hold the left mouse button on the two vertical bars that are to the left of those icons.
  6. Drag those icons to the right of the Quick Launch, so that Quick Launch is right next to the Cortana or Windows Search box and the Task View icon.

Quick Launch moved next to Windows Search box

Enabling and Disabling the Windows Quick Launch in Windows XP and Vista

  1. Right-click on an empty portion of the Windows taskbar.
  2. Click Properties in the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Taskbar tab, check or uncheck the Show Quick Launch option to enable to disable this feature.
  4. Click Apply, then click OK to save the settings change.

Enabling and Disabling the Windows Quick Launch in Windows 98, ME, NT

  1. Right-click on an empty portion of the Windows taskbar.
  2. Select Toolbars in the pop-up menu.
  3. Check or uncheck the Quick Launch option to enable or disable this feature.

Note: Windows 95 and earlier versions of Windows do not have the Quick Launch feature.

Adding icons to the Quick Launch bar

Any shortcut icon can be added to the Quick Launch bar by dragging the shortcut to the Quick Launch bar. For example, you could drag an icon from the Start Menu to the Quick Launch bar.

Arranging the icons in the Windows Quick Launch

You can adjust how the icons are arranged in Quick Launch by clicking the icon you want to move and dragging it to the position you want it. As you're dragging it, a black line or arrow should appear to indicate where it will be moved.

Adjusting the size of the Windows Quick Launch

To the right of the Windows Quick Launch is a divider (one or two vertical lines) that separates it from open or pinned programs on the taskbar (see example pictures below). Click and drag the divider to the right to increase the size of Quick Launch, or move it to the left to decrease the size.

Windows Taskbar

Taskbar dividers in Windows 10

If you do not see this bar, your Taskbar is locked. To unlock the Taskbar, right-click on an empty portion of the bar and uncheck the "Lock the Taskbar" option.